3rd Annual Ulster County CYO Shining Stars Awards Hosted by Catholic Charities

KINGSTON – Catholic Charities of Orange, Sullivan, and Ulster hosted the third annual Ulster County Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) Shining Stars Awards Ceremony and Brunch for a crowd of more than 120 guests. The event, held at the Catholic Charities Kingston Community Center, honored adults and youth for outstanding contributions in the community.

The Shining Star adult honorees are selected from nominations made by either their parish priest or a local community leader. The 2018 Adult Shining Stars were: Ann Gulbrandsen and Marie Regino, both of St. Charles Borromeo Parish, of Gardiner, for their work as teachers of the catechism; and Jerry Scanlan, Archdiocese of New York, for his commitment to Catholic Scouting. Each honoree was presented with a commemorative plaque by Ulster County CYO Director Walter Gaceta who served as the event’s master of ceremonies.

The Shining Star Youth Award was created to recognize Ulster County youth who have made a positive impact on their school, parish, or community, and serve as a role model to their fellow students. Honorees were nominated by their school principal or pastor and may be from any grade level. This year, 19 young people were recognized as Shining Stars. Each honoree received a personalized plaque and their parish priest was presented with a perpetual plaque which included the new honoree’s name.

The Shining Star Youth Honorees of 2018 were:

  • Katherine Baide Franco – St. Mary/St. Peter Church, Kingston
  • Tatiana Baide Franco – St. Mary/St. Peter Church, Kingston
  • Rebecca Bendell – St. Joseph Church, New Paltz
  • Matthew Burchell – Kingston Catholic School
  • Avery Burns – St. John, Woodstock
  • Dante Catalfomo – St. Peter, Rosendale
  • Adam Dachenhausen – St. Joseph, Kingston
  • Lucas Dipple – Kingston Catholic School
  • Zoe Falcone – St. Charles Borromeo, Gardiner
  • Taylor Fall – Kingston Catholic School
  • Mia Ferraro-Iapoce – Kingston Catholic School
  • Sean Foster – St. John, Woodstock
  • Aiden Hobart – St. Mary/St. Peter Church, Kingston
  • Eily Kochon – St. Peter, Rosendale
  • Sam Lofaro – St. Mary, Marlboro
  • Ava Maki – St. John, Woodstock
  • Michelle Moughan – John A. Coleman High School
  • Mary Sommer – St. Peter, Rosendale
  • Julia Strauss – St. John, Woodstock


“On behalf of Catholic Charities and CYO, it is my honor to say thank you to each and every Shining Star honoree for their commitment to our community and their many contributions to ensure Ulster County is a great place to live, work, and attend school,” said Gaceta. “Both our student and adult honorees serve as role models who embrace the Catholic Charities’ mission to provide help and create hope and we are exceptionally grateful for their dedication to helping others.”

For more information about the Shining Stars awards, or to nominate an honoree for 2019, contact Walter Gaceta at 845.340.9170, x 107 or walter.gaceta@cccsos.org.



Cutline 1: From St. John’s Parish in Woodstock, Alice Haberski, Religious Education Coordinator, and Pastor George Hommel, helped present Ulster County CYO Shining Star awards to honorees Avery Burns and Ava Maki. CYO Coordinator Walter Gaceta looked on.

Cutline 2: Pastor William Scafidi, from the parish of St. Mary/St. Peter in Kingston, displayed the perpetual plaque which includes the names of the newest Shining Star honorees from the parish, Tatiana Baide-Franco and Katherine Baide-Franco. Joining the presentation was CYO Coordinator Walter Gaceta who emceed the program.